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Opposition Dings Anti-Communist South Korean President over Large Viagra Order

The office of South Korean President Park Geun-hye has denied any corrupt motive for a large order made of the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra as well as anti-aging medications and vitamin injections.

The Blue House (Cheong Wa Dae), as Park’s office is known, issued a statement explaining that South Korean doctors often prescribe Viagra for altitude sickness, even for women, and that Park’s office issued the order in anticipation of a visit to Africa. Park, reports CBS News, visited the mountainous nations of Ethiopia, Uganda, and Kenya earlier this year. The office noted that she did not need to use the Viagra on her trip and that the order was precautionary.

Viagra “was originally developed to relieve high blood pressure,” according to an article published by the American Physiological Society in Science Daily. “It causes blood vessels in certain tissues, such as the lungs, to relax. This improves blood flow from the heart and increases oxygen transport to working muscles.” As such, it aids in erectile dysfunction, but has also proven to improve athletic performance at high altitudes where breathing is more difficult and aid with altitude sickness.

The orders of a variety of drugs were reportedly so large because the Blue House makes such medical purchases for its entire staff, not just Park.

Park is currently embroiled in a sweeping scandal that has engulfed major ruling party politicians, multinational corporations, and a secretive cult led by close family friends of Park’s. The President’s Viagra order has fallen under scrutiny after an investigation revealed that Park had received vitamin injections from a doctor at an anti-aging clinic using the name of her close friend Choi Soon-sil, as well as that of Choi’s sister and the name of the protagonist in a popular soap opera.

In a nationally televised speech, Park admitted that she had allowed longtime friend Choi to see drafts of pivotal policy speeches and edit them. She denied allegations that Choi was privy to delicate national security information or that she had participated in any illicit profiting schemes with Choi. Park gave a second speech vowing to comply with a full investigation into her behavior, where she was forced to also deny some of the more outlandish rumors regarding her relationship with Choi, including allegations that she allowed Choi to perform exorcisms in the Blue House.

Choi’s father, Choi Tae-min, was the head of the “Eternal Life Church,” described in South Korean media as a pseudo-Christian “cult.” The elder Choi reportedly claimed he could speak to the dead, a skill that attracted Park, as both of her parents were assassinated, her mother by a North Korean terrorist and her father by his own spy chief. In her first apology speech, Park admitted that “loneliness” following her parents’ death contributed to her trust in the younger Choi.

Prosecutors are demanding to cross-examine Park personally as part of the larger criminal investigation. “It is time for the prosecution to step up and request an arrest warrant for Park should she refuse to comply with another request for a face-to-face questioning,” a prosecutor wrote in the prosecution’s internal website server, according to the Korean newswire service Yonhap.

While law enforcement has begun to dig deeper into the scandal, the legislature has announced that it will assemble an “independent counsel” to probe the matter. Park spokesman Jung Youn-kuk advised the legislator to choose “balanced and neutral figures” to chair the counsel, lamenting that “there are many wrong reports that went too far.”

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